Braised Barramundi in Turmeric & Coconut Sauce (Paleo)

Braised Barramundi in Turmeric & Coconut Sauce

At the age of nine, yellow was my favorite color. Not lemon yellow, not lightning bolt yellow, just a soft pastel yellow. This was the case for quite a few years, and it led to some pretty terrible design decisions 🙈 

It was bad. Yellow bedroom bad. Make that two yellow bedrooms: within a few years, I had painted the bedroom at my mom's house and the bedroom at my dad's house yellow. Selecting calming colors for a bedroom really wasn't on my list of priorities at that point...

Fast forward 10 years: I was 19. My car at the time was a bright yellow VW Bug. After ten years, I had grown out of my love for yellow, but it was a fun ride regardless. There were a lot of good days in that car, but the best was the day I bought 20 bouquets of daffodils for a gymnastics meet. Do you know what it’s like to drive around town in a yellow bug full of yellow daffodils? It like you are swimming in a sea of floral, fresh, happy yellow. It's joyous. It's also funny, but it's fun. It made me love daffodils the way I loved yellow a decade before.

Braised Barramundi in Turmeric & Coconut Sauce
Braised Barramundi in Turmeric & Coconut Sauce

Jump up 7 more years, to now. I no longer have the Bug. None of the walls in our home are painted yellow. But on some occasions that same bright, bold, joyful shade of yellow sneaks into the house. It's in a completely different form: turmeric. The color alone reminds me of what it's like to be nine, bringing back visions of childhood. 

This braised barramundi is so bright it almost glows. It is super tender. Barramundi is a naturally flaky fish, and braising it makes it even more buttery. 

A few of you have asked me about sustainable seafood, especially in Colorado. Barramundi, while not from Colorado is a good option because, when raised responsibly, has a low carbon footprint and minimal environmental impact. Plus, you can get it in the freezer section of Costco!! That's what I used for this recipe (thawed the fish first) and it was great. 

The sauce, made with coconut milk, ginger, and turmeric (affiliate link!), is creamy, savory and a has a tiny bit of bite. We add extra red chili flakes on top to add a little heat, too 🔥

I served everything over brown rice, which really soaked up all that sauce, but for Paleo, you can skip the rice or serve with cauliflower rice.

Braised Barramundi in Turmeric & Coconut Sauce

Braised Barramundi in Turmeric & Coconut Sauce

Published December 28, 2017 by
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Serves: 2 as a main course, 4 as a side   |    Total Time: 45-50 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 fillet barramundi, cut into 2-3 pieces (I used frozen Barramundi from Costco and thawed it first)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, sliced 
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander 
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock 
  • 1-1/2 cups coconut milk 
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & Pepper
  • For serving: cilantro, red chili flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a oven-safe skillet on the stove over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the minced ginger, garlic, and sliced onion. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add turmeric and coriander, and cook 30 seconds more, allowing the spices to toast a bit.
  3. Pour stock, coconut milk, and lime juice into pan, and stir until combined. Place fish fillets in skillet in single layer. Season generously with salt and ground pepper. Place in oven and bake 10-15 minutes, until fish is cooked through, opaque, and flakey. (Thin fillets (1/2-inch thick) will take 10 minutes, while thicker fillets will take longer).
  4. Pull from oven and top with cilantro leaves and red chili flakes. Serve warm.
  5. We like serving this over a bed of rice because it soaks up all that sauce. Cauliflower rice would work, too!

Braised Barramundi in Turmeric & Coconut Sauce
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Denver Omelet Breakfast Casserole

Denver Omelet Breakfast Bake

As a Colorado girl, you think I’d know how to make a Denver omelet. But that’s not the case. I found myself one morning Googling "Denver omelet", and thought this is silly.

It turns out a Denver omelet calls for peppers, onions, ham, and sharp cheddar cheese. Reading this, I scrunched my nose. Ham in sandwiches, sure. But ham in an omelet? I was not convinced. But, I was determined to make a Denver omelet. Or at least something like it, because what I really wanted to make was a breakfast casserole that we could keep in the fridge all week and eat each morning. (I’ve become lazy with cooking in the morning lately, so having something already made is key to eating a good breakfast). The only other requirements? Hash browns. Because hash browns are awesome (I know I don't need need to tell you that).

I took a few notes, and headed to the store with a vague idea of a casserole in my mind. 

Denver Omelet Breakfast Bake
Denver Omelet Breakfast Bake

Walking through the butcher section, I perused various types of ham, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I opted for chorizo instead. You can do either--it’s really whatever suits your fancy. Either way, you’ll end up with a hearty vibrant casserole inspired by the Denver omelet. 

This make-ahead-breakfast was such a winner in our house that it is sure to become a regular. And the best part? Well, I think it was the hash brown base! Not usually part of a Denver omelet, but worth adding in. 

So, if you’re trying to feed breakfast to a crowd this week, or just trying to get ahead of your own schedule, this casserole is your answer! 

Denver Omelet Breakfast Bake

P.S., if you like this recipe, you'll LOVE Foraged Breakfast, a collection of 18 breakfast recipes made using whole ingredients. 

Denver Omelet Breakfast Casserole

Published December 26, 2017 by
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Serves: 4-6   |    Total Time: 45 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 2 cups thawed frozen hash browns or shredded potatoes (I used this brand (affiliate link!))
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 link or 1/4 cup diced chorizo sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (traditional would be cured ham, but I prefer chorizo)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F, and generously grease a 9x16 inch baking dish.
  2. Place thawed shredded potatoes in the pan, and gently press into an even layer on the bottom. Season with half of the salt & pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat on the stove. Add sausage pieces, and cook until browned. Use a spatula to transfer sausage to the baking dish, spreading in an even layer over the potato layer.
  4. Now, sauté the onion and bell peppers in the skillet, adding additional coconut oil if the skillet is dry. Sauté until the onions are transparent. Then, transfer onion and pepper mixture to the baking dish, spread in an even layer and mixing with the sausage.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and remaining salt & pepper. Whisk until frothy, and then pour egg mixture into casserole pan. Bits of bell pepper and sausage should still be visible, but the egg mixture should be evenly distributed through the pan.
  6. Place pan in oven and bake for 20 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, pull the casserole from the oven, top with cheese in an even layer, and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until cheese is bubbling and the casserole is cooked through.
  7. Allow to cool 5 minutes, and then top with cilantro for garnish. Serve hot. (Hot sauce is great on this casserole, if you like hot sauce on your eggs!)

Denver Omelet Breakfast Bake
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Green Chicken & Veggie Enchiladas

Green Chicken & Veggie Enchiladas

I've eaten and enjoyed many a taco salad bowl. But, it's never quite the same as slicing into a tried and true enchilada. When you are craving a real-deal enchilada, there's just nothing that can take it's place. There's gotta be cheese, and plenty of it. You can take your pick of red or green sauce, but you just can not skip the tortillas with crispy edges. Take your pick of tortilla... which ever way you choose to go, you're in good shape:

  • I used regular corn tortillas, which when made the traditional way are treated so they are easier to digest. (As I explained in Foraged Breakfast, some things just are meant to be exactly as they always have been: You can try to health-ify Tex-Mex food, but it doesn't always work out).

  • But.... there are some great almond flour-based tortillas available at the grocery store these days: Look for Siete Foods (affiliate link!) and don't skip the frying in step number 4, because it will help prevent crumbling).

To me, enchiladas are a quintessential Christmas food, because they speak to my Southern-Colorado roots and the food eaten in those parts. For this dish I opted for just green sauce, but you can also alternate green sauce and red sauce, a style of enchilada known as "Christmas."

Green Chicken & Veggie Enchiladas
Green Chicken & Veggie Enchiladas

Making enchiladas is a family affair, something best done when there are plenty of hands to share in the work and the eating. I made this batch with just my own two hands, so while you don't need the help, it's fun to have some one join you in the kitchen. I have fond memories of working with my dad in an enchilada assembly line: he would fry the tortillas, and I would stuff and roll them, placing them into a casserole dish. Faster and faster we would go, each trying to out-enchilada the other, until the tortillas were gone. 

You can stuff them with just about anything (pork, cheese, beans), but I opted for a mix of shredded chicken and roasted veggies. I suppose adding in veggies was my way of health-ifying them without missing out on what's important to me in an enchilada. 

So! From my kitchen to yours, here's the whole darn enchilada. Happy Winter Solstice!

Green Chicken & Veggie Enchiladas

Green Chicken & Veggie Enchiladas

Published December 19, 2017 by
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Serves: 8   |    Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 batch green chile sauce
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (1/3 to 1/2 pound)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 summer squash or zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese for filling and 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese for top
  • 6 tortillas (try corn tortillas or these grain-free almond flour tortillas (affiliate link))
  • 1/4 cup high heat cooking oil, such as avocado or coconut, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking vegetables
  • Optional, for serving: chopped greens such as romaine, sliced fresh peppers for color, and minced cilantro or green onions for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F, and grease an 9x16inch casserole pan.
  2. Toss diced bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, roasted vegetables, 1/2 cup cheese (make sure the veggies have cooled, or the cheese will melt right away!), salt, and pepper. Mix until everything is evenly distributed.
  4. Assembly: heat 1/4 cup oil in a skillet on the stove until it sizzles. Using tongs, place one tortilla at a time in the oil, cooking until it begins to puff up, and then flip, cooking about 1 minute more on the other side. Lift tortilla with tongs from the oil, and allow access to drip off back into the pan. Place tortilla on a paper towel to drain for at least 30 seconds. Then, scoop about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture into the center line of the tortilla and roll the tortilla up. Place roll seam-side down in casserole dish.
  5. Repeat step 4 until all tortillas are used, nestling each enchilada into the pan.
  6. Pour sauce over enchiladas, and then top with cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling, cheese is melted, and edges of tortillas begin to crisp. Serve hot on a bed of chopped greens, and garnish with sliced peppers, cilantro, and/or green onion.

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